Mark Robson

Stanley Kramer: Hollywood's moral compass

Stanley Kramer: Hollywood's moral compass

As both a producer and a director, Stanley Kramer was fearless.

As a scrappy young independent producer in the late 1940s, he bought the rights to Arthur Laurents' "Home of the Brave," the hit 1946 Broadway play which exposed anti-Semitism in the military during World War II. But Kramer decided to up the ante, transforming it into a drama about racism, casting young African American actor James Edwards as the soldier who must battle discrimination in his all-white platoon.

"He felt that was the higher risk," said his widow, Karen Sharpe Kramer, who added that the controversial subject matter caused "Home of the Brave" to be picketed when it was...